Luxembourg, December 9
Ukrainian firetruck destroyed by a Russian landmine installed in Luxembourg
On Friday, December 9, the official opening of the Ukrainian fire truck installation took place in Luxembourg. In March, this firetruck exploded on a landmine in Kyiv’s residential suburb, 20 km from the city center, while the crew was extinguishing the fire. As a result of this tragedy, two fire tracks were destroyed, eight firefighters were seriously injured, and one of them got his leg amputated. One of these trucks was delivered from Ukraine by volunteers of LUkraine ASBL within a framework of the global fundraising campaign Ukraine is Calling.
According to the OCHA, Ukraine is one of the most mine-contaminated countries in the world. Ukrainian State Emergency Service reports that as of November 18, 30% of Ukrainian territories are mined, which equals two territories of Austria. Retreating from the occupied territories, Russian troops use tactics of total mining, not military targets but also civil infrastructure. During wartime, civilians whose life are in constant danger must have free access to medical help and rescue services. Ukrainian firefighters and medical workers work in hot spots, frontline, and mined territories. Also, Russian troops target rescuing vehicles to thwart civilians’ salvation and constantly shell them with missiles, mines, or gunfire. These dangerous conditions not only drastically complicate rescuers work, but also jeopardize savior lives. In November, the Ukrainian State Emergency Service reported the death of 49 saviors, more than 172 were severely injured, and 6 rescuers are in Russian captivity. The Ministry of Healthcare at the beginning of October informed, that 24 medical workers have been killed, and 61 have been injured since February. Moreover, Ukraine lost to war thousands of firetrucks and ambulances. Explosives on mines and shelling turn them into scrap, but those that are in good condition are stolen by the Russians. More than 2000 fire trucks and 400 ambulances have been destroyed since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion, and this number is increasing daily. Ukraine loses on average 10 ambulance cars every week in this war. With this excessive shortage of rescue vehicles, emergency services need to choose which emergency to deal with first.
Ukraine is Calling is a fundraising campaign launched by Luxembourg-based non-profit organization LUkraine ASBL this October. It aims to raise 10M EUR for buying 112 rescue vehicles (firetrucks and ambulances). The first convoy with approximately 20 rescue vehicles onboard is expected to be sent to Ukraine on December 21. 8 of these cars will be graciously provided by the Ministry of Interior of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. All the vehicles are to be transferred to the Ministry of Healthcare and the Ukrainian State Emergency Service.
“We brought this fire truck here to Luxembourg to remind everyone that the war is still on. It is a tiny piece of war and the reality Ukrainians face every day. This installation controverts the surrounding beauty and tranquility. People have a chance to see the evidence of this tragedy with their own eyes, and to feel what kind of terror is happening right now in Ukraine, not so far from this place”, Inna Yaremenko, VP of LUkraine ASBL, explains.
Mykola Zharov, President of LUkraine, comments “While Ukrainian soldiers are fighting for our freedom on the frontline, our duty is to support those who are fighting for saving innocent civilian lives. Medical and emergency services workers are also heroes, and we have been doing our best to assist them in rescuing people. This is the second installation organized by LUkraine. The destroyed ambulance car was installed in Esch-Sur-Alzette, Luxembourg in October. These vehicles will keep traveling around Europe. The next stop will be in Brussels, in front of the European Parliament, to remind parliamentarians Ukraine is waiting for decisive actions.”
The event was also attended by H.E. Ms. Fleur Thomas, Ambassador of Great Britain; H.E. Mr. Ullrich Wilhelm Klöckner, Ambassador of Germany; H.E Mr. Piotr Wojtczak, Ambassador of Poland; H.E. Madame Claire Lignières – Counathe, Ambassador of France; Christoph Schroeder, Head Unit of the European Parliament in Luxembourg; Mr. Sven Clement, Member of Parliament; Félicie Weycker, President of Fonds Kirchberg.
The destroyed fire truck installation will run till December 28 on Place de l’Europe 1 in Luxembourg.
LUkraine ASBL is a Luxembourg-based non-profit that was founded in 2014. Association unites the Ukrainian Community in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg to increase awareness about Ukraine in Luxembourg and contribute to humanitarian crisis relief in Ukraine. Over the past six months, LUkraine has focused its activities on the fields of emergency response, sending ambulances, life-saving medical equipment, and humanitarian aid to Ukraine. Association provides informational, psychological, and humanitarian aid to refugees in Luxemburg. LUkraine also helps with the integration process through language and job-seeking courses.
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